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Mol Cell Proteomics. 2013 Aug;12(8):2236-48. doi: 10.1074/mcp.M113.030619. Epub 2013 May 10.

Cloning and characterization of the glycoside hydrolases that remove xylosyl groups from 7-β-xylosyl-10-deacetyltaxol and its analogues.

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State Key Laboratory of Bioactive Substance and Function of Natural Medicines, Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100050, China.


Paclitaxel, a natural antitumor compound, is produced by yew trees at very low concentrations, causing a worldwide shortage of this important anticancer medicine. These plants also produce significant amounts of 7-β-xylosyl-10-deacetyltaxol, which can be bio-converted into 10-deacetyltaxol for the semi-synthesis of paclitaxel. Some microorganisms can convert 7-β-xylosyl-10-deacetyltaxol into 10-deacetyltaxol, but the bioconversion yield needs to be drastically improved for industrial applications. In addition, the related β-xylosidases of these organisms have not yet been defined. We set out to discover an efficient enzyme for 10-deacetyltaxol production. By combining the de novo sequencing of β-xylosidase isolated from Lentinula edodes with RT-PCR and the rapid amplification of cDNA ends, we cloned two cDNA variants, Lxyl-p1-1 and Lxyl-p1-2, which were previously unknown at the gene and protein levels. Both variants encode a specific bifunctional β-d-xylosidase/β-d-glucosidase with an identical ORF length of 2412 bp (97% identity). The enzymes were characterized, and their 3.6-kb genomic DNAs (G-Lxyl-p1-1, G-Lxyl-p1-2), each harboring 18 introns, were also obtained. Putative substrate binding motifs, the catalytic nucleophile, the catalytic acid/base, and potential N-glycosylation sites of the enzymes were predicted. Kinetic analysis of both enzymes showed kcat/Km of up to 1.07 s(-1)mm(-1) against 7-β-xylosyl-10-deacetyltaxol. Importantly, at substrate concentrations of up to 10 mg/ml (oversaturated), the engineered yeast could still robustly convert 7-β-xylosyl-10-deacetyltaxol into 10-deacetyltaxol with a conversion rate of over 85% and a highest yield of 8.42 mg/ml within 24 h, which is much higher than those reported previously. Therefore, our discovery might lead to significant progress in the development of new 7-β-xylosyl-10-deacetyltaxol-converting enzymes for more efficient use of 7-β-xylosyltaxanes to semi-synthesize paclitaxel and its analogues. This work also might lead to further studies on how these enzymes act on 7-β-xylosyltaxanes and contribute to the growing database of glycoside hydrolases.

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